Updated to reflect a different tone that God is leading the sermon for the weekend. Please note that this reflection will differ from the book.
Throughout its history, the Christian Church has faced many dangerous and uncertain times. In the past, when threatened by pandemics, followers of Jesus have been at their best – loving, sacrificing, and serving the needs of others in their communities before their own. Such Christ-like behavior required genuine humility. Sometimes the worst situations bring out the best in the Church. Read James 4:6-12
Why is God so opposed to pride and arrogance? In your words, how is humility defined? Are there areas of life in which you refuse to submit to God? What are they? Why?
James intentionally raises the matter of evil by mentioning “the devil.” What is your opinion on this? James commands Christians not to fear but “resist the devil.” Is this still pertinent to our 21st century western culture?
God’s law is for us to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves.” In practical terms, in what ways do we violate that law? How do we keep this law in time of pandemic?
What are the implications of James’ statement, “there is only one Lawgiver and Judge?”
Ask God to reveal how attitudes of pride may be showing up in your life and relationships – especially now in this time of the pandemic. Make a list and pray over it asking God’s forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in loving others.
Since humility begins with submission to God, identify areas of your life that you have not “placed under” his authority and determine what it will take to do so.
Identify the needs of people in your community. Step out of your comfort zone and find ways to meet those needs – not only of those in the church but those outside as well. Invite others to join you in this “need meeting” endeavor.
Recognizing you oppose the proud and give grace to the humble, I submit my life more fully to you and your authority. I do this in response to your intense and unqualified love for me. Help me to think about the needs of others and to put their needs above my own. Help me to be more like Jesus in my compassion and grace toward all people. AMEN